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By Knotty Boy

How to Wash Dreads!

Washing regularly is key to growing a healthy head of dreads, as shampooing actually helps dreads lock tighter, faster by removing slippery, detangling natural oil buildup. Added bonus: they end up minty-fresh and sweet smellin', too!

One to two weeks after starting your locks, begin carefully washing them once a week or so, depending on your need. Our How to Wash Dreads instructions below show how to give your scalp a good scrub with both the Knotty Boy Shampoo Bar and Liquid Shampoo, because they are both formulated specifically for dreadlock health, rinsing cleanly through your locks leaving no residue. (Most regular, even 'all natural' shampoos are full of softeners and waxes that untangle knots - exactly what you want to avoid!) Knotty Boy Dread Shampoos also help prevent, treat and cool with a minty tingle scalp any irritation or itchiness that develops. See our Dreadlock Maintenance Tutorial for more info on treating itchy scalps. Wash on, Knotty ones!




Step 1 {Lather}

Unwrap the Dread Shampoo Bar or pop open the Liquid Shampoo, breathe in the icy-fresh scent, strip down and hop in the tub.

Wet scalp and locks, and if using the Bar, get it wet, too. It becomes very foamy, so either work up a good, thick lather in your hands and scrub it onto your scalp, or you can rub the Bar directly on your scalp between the locks and work up a lather that way. (Some people like to use a corner of the Bar to get at itchy spots. Feels minty good, don't it.)

If using Liquid Shampoo, pour a small amount into the palm of your hand and spread evenly around scalp, using more as necessary. Remember, you won't get a ton of lather, but it's still working!

How To Wash Dreads Step 1

Step 2 {Gently Scrub}

Once lathered up, get down to the scalp with your fingertips and give it a thorough, gentle scrub all over. Let the Essential Oils sit and do their thing for 2-3 minutes.

How To Wash Dreads Step 2

Step 3 {Rinse & Repeat}

Rinse, allowing the Shampoo to run through the dreads, thereby cleaning them without handling them too much. This is the best way to clean new, still-soft locks without damaging all that hard work you've put into them.

Repeat shampooing and rinsing if necessary. You will be able to feel how squeaky clean your scalp is after it's been rinsed, and where you need to shampoo again.

How To Wash Dreads Step 3

Step 4 {Drying}

The last step of the process is just as important as the rest - drying. It is critical that your dreadlocks are allowed to completely dry after each wash in order to prevent that musty, wet-dog dread smell.

Gently squeeze out as much water as you can with a towel (some of us like to alternate whipping locks around to a favorite metal tune with the towel-squeezing part, getting as much water out as possible). Air drying your locks is fine, but if they're getting wet more than once a week, it's also worth investing in a blow dryer and using it on 'Low' to speed things along.

Finish up with a little Knotty Boy Locksteady Tropical Tightening Gel (not Wax, in case there's still moisture in there!) to palmroll those flyaways and frizzies back into place with, and increase lock tightening.

Et voila! Squeaky clean, groomed, salon-fresh locks that you did yourself right at home!

How To Wash Dreads Step 4 - DryingHow To Wash Dreads Step 4
More Answers

How often should I wash my dreads?

We recommend once per week. But that doesn't mean you can't shower as often as you like. Just slip on one of our Extra Large Dreadlock Shower Caps!

I wash my dreads every day, but they smell terrible! What am I doing wrong?

As we've seen in this Tutorial, washing your locks is a really great idea - but you, Knotty friend, may have a case of "too much of a good thing"! Your dreads smell bad for a very simple reason: they aren't drying completely in between washings. Dreadlocks must get 100% dry, all the way to the middle, before you wet them again. This is especially important if they are new and you are still applying Wax, as the Wax can trap moisture inside the lock, leaving you with a nice, funky mildewy smell if they weren't dry first.

But have no fear! To banish the stink, wash your locks thoroughly one more time with Knotty Boy Dread Shampoo (it's anti-fungal, antibacterial Essential Oils are very important for killing the mildew) and then blow dry it on 'Low', or sit out in the sun until they are completely dry, inside and out. Normally you can simply air-dry your locks, but it will be key to get yours totally dry as quickly as possible. Then, from here on out, try to stick to a once-weekly washing schedule only.

To help get you through from wash to wash, Knotty Boy Peppermint Cooling Moisture Spray can help enormously to relieve itchy scalps between washings, and the Natural MISTics Lock Refresher & Fragrance Sprays are shampoo-less cleansers that kill odour-causing bacteria on contact, and give your locks a lovely, lasting fragrance when they need a little pick-me-up.

My itchy scalp is driving me crazy!

Everyone's had itchy scalp or dandruff at one time or another. It's normal. Anything from switching shampoos to swimming in a chlorinated pool can do it to you. No biggie, except it can be very uncomfy and especially hard to deal with when you have dreads. Check out our helpful Dreadlock Maintenance Tutorial for all the tips and tricks you need to combat the itchies.

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